Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 22 February 2017

'People in rural Ireland deserve proper mobile phone service'

Published 17/10/2016 | 16:35

Report finds that in some parts of rural Ireland as few as 25% of users have what they would consider an acceptable service. Photo:Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
Report finds that in some parts of rural Ireland as few as 25% of users have what they would consider an acceptable service. Photo:Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

TD hits out at damming mobile coverage stats, as new report says much of rural Ireland has 'unacceptable' service

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A recent international mobile operator survey has shown that in some parts of rural Ireland as few as 25% of users have what they would consider an acceptable service.

P3's research, consisting of thousands of voice and data tests in cities, towns and main roads, claims there are differences of up to 60pc in the quality being experienced by mobile users, depending on their operator.

In towns such as Kilkenny, Portlaoise, Mullingar and Westport, as little as 25pc of some operators' users are experiencing proper mobile voice coverage.

And up to two-thirds of some operators' users are getting sub-par data quality on the country's main arterial road routes.

'Mobile phone service is not acceptable'

Roscommon/East Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice said he says he knows from his own area and from the many people who contact him on a daily basis that the mobile phone service in many rural areas is not acceptable and in some cases is non existent.

“I note that this research was carried out in cities and along the main roads throughout the country.

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“I would favour a much more comprehensive survey which would include more rural areas which are badly affected by poor mobile phone coverage in many areas.

“ It is easy for the mobile phone operators to reach their quotas of acceptable coverage numbers when the majority of their customers are in big urban areas.

“People in rural Ireland also deserve a proper mobile phone service and Com Reg has a major role to play in this this situation as well,” he said.

The research, which did not include a geographical breakdown by individual regions or cities, was commissioned by Vodafone Ireland's parent company, Vodafone Group.

A spokesman for P3 said the study was "independent" and that his company stood over the results as an accurate representation of voice and data network quality here. The spokesman said that Vodafone did not influence the criteria by which the tests were measured.

Nevertheless, the research claims that Vodafone Ireland scored the "best in test" in virtually every metric, including voice and data services in cities, towns and on major roads.

A recent national drive test survey by Comreg showed a more mixed set of results, with Meteor and Three sometimes scoring higher than Vodafone in individual regional metrics.

Online Editors